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Badger hockey team on their way to New Hampshire

MADISON - The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team will play Massachusetts-Lowell on Friday afternoon in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Field-of-16 was announced last night. The Badgers earned an automatic bid by winning the WCHA Final Five over the weekend. Wisconsin is part of the four-team Northeast Regional in Manchester New Hampshire. The top four teams in the tournament were seeded, and Lowell is the Number-three seed. Quinnipiac has the overall top seed. The Badgers have a six-game winning streak with a record of 22-12-7. UMass-Lowell is 26-10-2, winning 22-of-its-last-28.

The winner of that game will play either Denver or New Hampshire on Saturday night in the Elite Eight round. Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves says every team in the tournament can beat anyone else - and his goal is for the Badgers to keep playing the way they have. Wisconsin won its 12th and final WCHA tournament crown before leaving for the new Big Ten hockey conference next year. The Badgers have won six national crowns, the last in 2006.